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Facilitating Local Work Groups for an SWCD in Minnesota

Since 2021, a Minnesota’s Water Conservation District (SWCD), in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), has annually sought out Kanati to help facilitate the Local Work Group (LWG) in their county to add cohesiveness to natural resource protection and direct priority SWCD and NRCS activities. A Local Work Group is designed to gather input from local natural resource professionals, citizens, and partners of the county on the direction of the SWCD and NRCS. To understand the existing functions of the group, Kanati designed an interactive educational curriculum to facilitate the public and private partnerships input on the natural resource priorities of within the county.

Kanati generated educational materials around the commonalities of the group to build a sense of community. Not only did Kanati design these activities to create cohesiveness amongst the group, but they also promoted the concept of diversity amongst the members which included several unique partners and citizens. To aid in this concept, diverse information-gathering activities were incorporated such as brainstorming games, individual reflection, and large and small group activities.

Kanati’s observations and input were shared with the county’s SWCD and NRCS as well as suggestions and recommendations for them to continue to develop internally. Kanati, being a private company within the world of conservation, already understood the purpose of the LGU’s work and therefore did not appear as a complete outsider, already knowing what might benefit their structure and what would be superfluous to try. By repeating this process annually, the LWG’s infrastructure can be updated to accurately benefit the ever-evolving state of an organization while gathering local input for natural resource protection.


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